(120-10-24) Ticket To Ride
Ticket to Ride
Summary: Kelinyx sneaks out of the Lady Reyna's garden for a ride on a real warrior's horse.
Date: 24/10/2013
Related: None

Estate Garden

The gamine, the waif, the shadow of a real girl, Kelinyx is skulking about in a garden area in this new land, the world of the housed and fed who never really worry about such. She's hooded, but continues wearing that white ribbon around her neck to signify herself to guards and be given passage to any other parts a new member of the household her age might be allowed. She moves with the big-eyed and cautious-paced angular perching from stop to stop, exploring new ground, keen to see if any other cats (or dogs) might exist to compete or worse. Even in places that look this lovely, she is sure to find something interesting if she looks hard enough.

What there isn't, is sellswords. Cats, however, there are. In fact, more of them rather of a sudden. One jumps up and starts walking along the top garden wall, then another. A third slips in from somewhere on the opposite side of the garden. It too is on the move. In the same direction. There's the sound of a horse beyond the wall there, hooves on the cobblestones.

Kelinyx makes sure to tuck back her bangs, then advances low and in the direction of the cats. She's smiling, already having startled a few servant girls with her stalking habits and likely wound up for another such experience. She's flawless, tugging herself silently up a wall that's half-shielded by trees, scaling along the top like a spy, and soon she's making out shapes, faces on the far side. If only it wasn't for the whine, then grumble of her stomach, likely working on the rare task of a full meal to give her away, noisily at that.

Cats and Eonn go together. The redheaded man is out there, on that big white mare of his. And the cats are walking along the wall to join him. There are some on the street trailing behind him. And one bold orange one sitting on his horse's rump, looking pleased with itself. The man doesn't seem to notice the girl, but he's a little ways away yet. Hoofbeats on the clean stone cobbles of the better parts of Oldtown do carry. He's singing, too, a sound that didn't carry over the wall well enough to be so easily identifiable as it is now. It's in Old Valyrian, of all things.

Warbles and whistles like a bird that touch her ears come from between lips fringed in fire and though she takes a moment, arm and leg dangling over the stone for a bit as she even does her behavioral best to blend in with the wave of cats. When left in the wake, however, she dismounts and comes eventually trotting up to the wide flank of the pale mare and her effervescing rider, hands folded behind her back, her cleaned up face, armor, hair, even new cottons beneath the ragged leathers, all tell of recent good fortune, and the fact that she doesn't smell ripe but instead like sweet oils seals it - the brat's had a bath and then some.

The man stops singing and halts his mare to look down at Keli. The big horse doesn't seem to mind a bit. Eonn is silent for a moment, but he does smile his sly smile. After a few heartbeats he says, "Girl."

She looks like she wants to be peppy, open, gushing about all she's seen but there is enough sense in her head to bite back the urge. "Mister," she finally selects and delivers coyly, brows bouncing up and down a few times as her trotting goes heel to toe, her locks hood obscuring eyes and nose in shadow, but not her tickled grin.

Eonn laughs softly. He says, "It seems you have found good fortune. Is this the garden wall of your noble ladies?" He glances at the wall behind her, indicating it with a nod of his head. "And they have given you gifts?"

"One of the ladies, at least. Don't know if the other would want to share a roof with me," Keli says with a teasing grin, coming nearer the man now. "I like your horse. Looks strong." While the voice matches the exterior, Keli's manner of speech certainly isn't ladylike being so abbreviated and curt, even if her hips sway side to side as she stands, idle energy rushing off in passive femininity. What a tangle of knots.

His horse might be a little old, too, but it's also gentle. "This horse is called Bottle of Smoke," Eonn informs the girl. "Which lady was it?" He shifts, turning in his saddle and swinging one leg over to sit the mare sideways so he can lean down a bit to gaze at the child more directly.

Kelinyx nibbles her bottom lip and glances up at birds darting overhead, then to Eonn. "Well, they are both nice to me, but I think I just ruffle feathers for Lady Igdahn," Keli admits, gently stroking a hand along the horse's shoulder for just a moment.

Eonn's smile widens. "Will you tell me?" he asks.

"I can talk," the girl says a bit shrewdly, softening her words. "But ain't nothing too strange. She said a lady doesn't have legs and kept wanting me to wear a dress. I saw her face. She wants to teach me numbers and loomin'." The girl's big, dark eyes roll at the idea. "Still. They want to feel good putting some flowers in my hair? I get to eat? Not so bad?" She gives him a hopeful grin, as if assessing his response to her first gesture at learning this trade

Eonn cants his head a little to one side, studying her. "Do you want to ride?" he asks. "Do you like flowers in your hair? Or dresses?"

Kelinyx stands on tiptoes, trying to see even the top of the horse and failing. "Uh, I can walk…don't know how to ride," she admits sheepishly, even if she does softly pat the horse's barrel. "I don't know. I like it enough for dinner. I think Lady Reyna wants to do more useful stuff. She said she will see if I can fight. I can fight," she calmly says, not even seeming to be trying for self-inflation.

Eonn swings his leg back over the animal, then leans down to offer Keli his hand. He's left-handed. His greaves are loose, she can see the blurred edge of a blue-black tattoo on the inside of his wrist. "The Bottle of Smoke will not throw you off," he says. "And I will tell her where to go. Do you like to fight, or does it just happen?"

The child oofs as her negligible weight is tugged into the sky at his assistance, landing spry and sure, Her hands grip at the easiest sure purchase on the saddle, and her weight rocks atop the horse, a vague counterbalancing that might do well on a ship's deck and keeps her head a bit more level. She glances up over her shoulder to him before looking ahead to answer, her words simple, serious. "I got good enough to not starve And them I found if I got better, so did other things for me." Shrewd once more, she leaves it there.

The mare is big, a stable surface to sit on. Even when she starts to move forward. Eonn didn't kick her, but he did shift a little. Enough to tell the animal to move, it seems. He says, "It is a useful thing, to fight," he says. "I learned the same. And the lady wants you to fight? How does she propose to find out if you can?"

The little thing shrugs her skinny shoulders, taking advantage of her perch to study the world from a height unusual for her to behold, her occasional excited lean this way or that proof of just that. "Well, I tried to find out, but that's one of those things where she gets a look on her face that tells me I gotta go do some test or thing. It's like when somebody wants to buy something but not with money." Keli might need a touch more time among the well off before she grasps their systems fully.

Eonn laughs at that, cooly amused. "What kind of test?" he asks. The orange cat that's been riding his horse's rump tries to squirm into the warm gap between the man and Keli, and he looks down at it. "Do ladies know about tests?" he asks, possibly addressing the cat. Which might be odd, he thusfar hasn't addressed his animal entourage.

Kelinyx mostly ignores the bonus creature wedging in, leaning further forward on the saddle, gripping tightly, legs straightening out as she demonstrates keen balance. She speaks with a tightened diaphragm, holding the pose for her own energetic amusement. "Nothing yet, but soon it's comin'. Half the time I think the test is just telling her yessum when she wants to hear it."

Eonn nods slowly behind her, and says, "There are merits to that." He guides the horse down a side street. "So, have they locked you in the garden?"

"Iffin' that means the estate proper, then mostly. I like it, though. Never soggy or smelly or nothing like that." She plops down on her rump and peers back over her shoulder at him and the companion. "Igdah showed me her emberdery. With thread, and needle, uh? Emb…b…yeah, that."

"Embroidery," offers the man, carefully prounouncing the word. He doesn't speak like most smallfolk, just as he doesn't smell like them. "I cannot do it," he says. Then, after a little pause. "That I know of. I can knit."

Kelinyx flits her hands about before herself, sing-songing. "Knit, darn, needle, stitch / silks and linens, bedpans / sunshine on a groom-ed pitch / excitin' if yer a dead man!" She laughs happily after her song, something a bit mad about the glee she takes in prodding at the wealthy class she's exposed to

Eonn laughs. "Knitting is for making fishing nets," he says. "I don't think I can do it pretty like the ladies must like. So are you going to learn that?" His tone is more easy now, maybe because they've ridden further away from the richest parts of the town. "Not that fishing is much better."

"Fish smell too bad. I avoid it if I can. Unless I got fire somewhere." Her body rocks side to side, not too much, just enough to burn her spare energy. "I don't know. If I think it will help me keep myself out of irons, I'd likely try to pick it up. Seems there's a lot of ways to get into irons, though."

"A practical girl," observes Eonn. "But exciting if you are a dead man. You'd rather not have excitement?" He seems to be guiding the mare on the quickest path out of town, and a city gate looms up ahead.

Shaking her head to quickly correct, she gives him a naughty smile. "No, I'm sayin' ain't nothing exciting about all that needlework and soft beds stuff. Unless, ya know, yer," she squeezes at her own throat, eyes bulging, tongue out to the side. Then nearly wobbles off the horse for all that twisting, clutching quickly to the saddle's edge with a squeak.

Eonn laughs again. "I like soft beds," he replies, "But true. I can't say they're exciting. Not enough that I ever much tried to get one, anyway. The hay will do. I can sleep about anywhere, I think. But you'll try to please the ladies to stay out of irons? How long do you figure it will last?"

Kelinyx straightens up a bit I-meant-to-do-that-like. "Hm. I'm not lookin' to poke bears with sticks. You said it. Practical girl." She glances back to him, then to the changing scenery passing before them. "I can't reckon I'd want to piss on anyone's leg so long as I'm getting hot meals and learning a few things. Not at all, uh?"

"You'll find out, I am thinking," says Eonn. "And I am also hoping you will tell me when you do." Past the gates, there are farm cottages and orchards and fields. Most of the cats have been left behind now. Except the orange one that's curled up between the two of you. Cats lack stamina for walking.

Kelinyx works an arm around her flat middle, eyes scanning the ground, around tree stumps or piles of this or the other, up to birds darting overhead. "Do you think something is going to happen, soon?" she asks in a more private tone, as if she's wagering a need to take his constant reminders more seriously.

"Soon? Maybe not soon to you. Maybe soon to me. I am older, and as a man rushes towards his death he pretends that time goes slower and slower, to make it easier. He cannot help himself." Eonn smiles. It's more kindly than his usual smile, though it's still got that hint of I-know-a-secret sly in it. "Still. You have said it yourself. It is like when someone wants to buy something, but not with money. And you, girl, are not the person looking to buy."

Kelinyx frowns a bit. "So…" Her lower lip disappears into her mouth, the girl grumbling to herself in thought. "So am I bartered or coin?" she asks of him, almost sounding hesitant to do so.

"I don't know," replies Eonn. "Do you? For the staying free of irons and instead having hot meals, you do this practical thing, yes? Does it feel yet free of costs to you? Already there is a wall to climb over. What sort of person do you wish to become?" He shrugs under his spaulders. They shift but don't clink. He's quieter than most armoured people.

Kelinyx frowns again, tugging at her low twintails, gazing off before them a bit blindly. "I guess I got my doubts," she finally confesses. "Like it's a joke or it's something that's gonna fall out from under me. Just been a day or two. Could be that when so and so of House Over There finds out about me, I'll get shipped to a school or a church or a labor camp."

Eonn nods. "That might happen," he says. "And what would you do?" He shifts his legs and the horse speeds her walk, taking longer, quicker strides.

"No matter what, I stuff what food and coin I can into my clothes before I leave. If it's a school or a church then I'll just escape and go back to the streets. I know what happens to kids without no parents in those places. If it's a camp, I'll kill bastards who try to take me or die trying" She sounds like she might have that solution ready for a lot of situations.

Eonn laughs again. "Good," he says. "There is always a wind to blow you to your death. You don not need to set your sails to catch just any other. Look where it will take you." He shifts his heels again, and leans forward as the horse shifts gaits, now galloping down the road. It's a lumbering gallop on a big heavy horse, but still faster than a street kid is likely to have travelled except in a wild dash.

As it dawns on her (thanks to some heavy bumps) that they're not trotting about town anymore, Keli starts to hunker down, clinging tighter to the saddle, that furball likely becoming compressed between Keli's lower back and the man's gut. She stops chatting, head ducked to one side of the horse's, experiencing the world from its perspective as best she can.

Eonn exercises his mare. Her mane is long and tangles in Keli's face. The man turns her around in a farmyard after a while, still at that galumphing gallop, and heads back to the city. The cat has sunk its claws into his mail to keep aboard, but it doesn't protest any of this.

Fortune smiled upon Keli in that the cat chose its companion instead of her backside to talon up for the flight. It's a rough thing for her, and sometimes that heaving body of the beast thuds against her, but she has the balance down as best can be managed from her foresaddle position by the time she is making out more familiar shapes on the horizon, returning. He may not be able to see, but she's grinning, ear to ear.

Eonn slows the mare a few hundred feet from the city gates. Out of arrow range from the watchmen's posts. Charging in might come across as a little suspicious, after all. So they transition from gallop to lazy lope to long-strided walk before passing the gates and entering the cobbled streets again. The tall sellsword seems to be satisfied. At least, he doesn't ask any more of his odd questions. The orange cat jumps off onto a stopped wagon that's the first thing they pass that's high enough to make it a short leap. Evidently the feline wasn't really very keen on the fast ride.

Still a touch breathless from her own excitement, the slender little girl-boy-child still has a white-knuckle grip on the leather beneath, flashing Eonn a delighted smile. "That was…stupendous," she says, after visibly searching for the best part of her vocabulary to thank him. "I've never gone so fast!"

Eonn smiles at that, and chuckles. He makes a turn, guiding the horse back in a different way than the one they took out of town. "I am thinking you will find that the lady swordswoman will have a faster horse than mine," he tells her. "Perhaps you will convince her to teach you how to ride it. It is always good to know, how to ride a horse or steer a boat, if you are looking to be pushed about by only two winds and no more."

"You talk like a bard," Keli comments without prejudice, softly running her hands up and down the horse's neck, as if to give it thanks for the ride as well. "But that sounds better a way to wind up than a lot of what I've seen. I am proud of what I done so far. After all, I don't know another my age who been on a real warrior's horse!"

Eonn still smiles. "If I am talking like a bard, I'd better stop," he says. "Don't tell anyone how I talk." His eyes are serious, he means it, but he's still amused. And then he's had the mare turn a corner and they are back where they began. "Perhaps you will see me again," he says, "Horses need to run, if they are to be able to run far when men need them to do it." He rides right up to the wall. She need only stand up on the saddle to climb over the stones and back into the garden.

Keli's snowsky blue eyes peer into Eonn's dark gaze for a few thoughtful moments. "I keep saying yes when people ask me to keep quiet. I hope I can remember it all," she says softly, before dipping her head in a fond bow. "I look forward to next meet, then. Good winds."

Eonn raises his eyebrows, curious. But he doesn't ask. Just nods.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License